Top List of Banks in Bahrain
The explosive growth of Bahrain's banking industry has earned the country a reputation as one of the top financial centers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to the 2014 issue of The Banker magazine. More than 1.3 million foreign nationals from more than 100 countries now reside in Bahrain.
Bahrain's private sector is dominated by the banking industry, including 23 locally incorporated licensed banks and 18 licensed branches of foreign banks. The banking system in the kingdom has been operating soundly for over twenty years, with good liquidity capital adequacy. Here are some of the banks doing exceptionally well in Bahrain.
Ahli United Bank
Ahli United Bank is one of the largest banks in Bahrain. It was formed by the merging of four banks. Its main business is commercial banking. It provides a full array of financial assistance and services like retail, corporate and investment banking, treasury, private banking, and trade finance through its branches and subsidiaries in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. The bank was established in 2000. AUB manages 151 branches spread across different cities. Its total assets are BHD 14.12 billion (USD 40.1 billion).
Arab Banking Corporation
Arab Banking Corporation is a leading international bank based in Bahrain. It provides a full range of wholesale banking products such as credit cards, current accounts, personal loans. And services for corporate customers and institutions. ABC is one of the 30 largest banks worldwide and the largest bank in Bahrain by assets. It has been in existence for at least over 30 years, with offices throughout the Middle East and North Africa, in Europe and Asia. As of 2021, ABC had an asset of BHD 11.46 billion (USD 30.4 billion).
Albaraka Bank Group
The Al Baraka Banking Group is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank in Bahrain by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international banking group providing its unique services. Albaraka Bank Group offers retail, corporate, treasury, and investment banking services strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a.
Albaraka Bank Group exists in different areas with offices in 17 countries, which provides its services through over 697 branches. Its total assets stand at BHD 10.56 billion (USD 28.0 billion).
Gulf International Bank
Gulf International Bank was created in 1975 by several leading international banks and the central banks of five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This universal bank offers a wide variety of financial services to retail, business, and private banking clients with a specific focus on the Gulf region.
The service offered includes corporate banking, investment banking, treasury and liabilities management, financial investment management, and wealth management services to clients in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. GIB has several branches in different countries, and it boasts of assets worth BHD 11.12 billion (USD 29.5 billion).
Bahrain Development Bank
Bahrain Development Bank is a private equity investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The firm typically invests in restaurants, facility management, information technology, communications, engineering, apparel, healthcare services, education services, and financial institutions.
Its banking services include personal and business bank accounts, cards, loans, cash management, foreign exchange, treasury, and Islamic products and services. It manages 110 branches spread across different cities and countries. The current total asset is at BHD 85.3 million (USD 226.4 million).
Ithmaar Bank is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing Islamic retail banks globally. Ithmaar Bank is a fully licensed, Bahrain-based Islamic Retail Bank, part of Ithmaar Holding, a Bahrain-based investment company. It focuses on providing innovative Sharia-compliant products and services to individuals, businesses, and government organizations. Ithmaar Bank has subsidiaries in Jordan (Alizz Islamic Bank), Saudi Arabia (Ithmaar Saudi Arabia), Egypt (Ithmaar Development Company), and Pakistan (Ithmaar Bank). Its assets stand at BHD 1.13 billion (USD 3.0 billion).
National Bank of Bahrain
National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) was the first local bank to be established in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 1957. Since its inception, NBB has grown to become one of the leading financial institutions in the country, providing retail banking services through a network of 27 branches and 4 exchange houses.
It has several segments that operate through Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Treasury and Investment, and Islamic Banking. The Retail Banking segment has a range of financial services and products to individuals and small enterprises. The Wholesale Banking segment includes corporate, commercial, and institutional banking services. The Treasury and Investment segment offers treasury, investment, and fund management activities. Its assets stand at BHD 4.39 billion (USD 11.64 billion).
Al Mashreq Bank
The Al Mashreq Bank is the first private bank in Bahrain. This was a bank established in Bahrain in 1967 to provide specialized financial and banking services and investment-banking activities. Al Mashreq Bank was the first bank to install ATMs, introduce credit cards and checks for non-account holders, and launch a 24/7 call center. It has its assets worth AED 158.5 billion as of 2020.
Investcorp is a global provider and manager of alternative investment products. It has built its private equity business on the simple and enduring principles of risk awareness, alignment of interests, patience, and capital preservation. Investcorp has offices in Bahrain, New York, London, and Abu Dhabi and a multicultural staff consisting of approximately 270 professionals from 32 countries. It has an asset of BHD 13.84 billion (USD 36.7 billion).
Arcapita is a global investment firm that makes direct investments in private companies. The firm invests in infrastructure and pays dividends. It provides management, growth capital, and private equity for the acquisition of the medium business and privatized public sectors. Headquartered in Bahrain, Arcapita Group is a leading global investment company that employs over 200 professionals operating in 12 countries worldwide. Its assets stand at BHD 11.31 million (USD 30 million).
How can I open an account in Bahrain?
For non-Bahrainis, a Smart Card and a Passport are required. A salary certificate or pay slip illustrating a basic wage of BD500 for Bahrainis and BD800 for non-Bahrainis is also required to open a Current Account.